France's protesting farmers continue to encircle Paris waiting for government aid

France
# 30 January 2024 14:37 (UTC +04:00)

Farmers are blocking eight motorways leading to Paris and several hundred are driving their tractors towards the capital's food market, APA reports citing Euro News.

Protesting farmers encircled Paris with traffic-snarling barricades on Monday, using hundreds of lumbering tractors and piles of hay bales to block highways leading into the French capital in a bid to pressure the government over the future of their industry, which has been shaken by the fallout from the war in Ukraine.

A protest that, for the time being, has no end in sight.

Farmers are blocking eight motorways leading to Paris and several hundred are driving their tractors towards the capital's food market, a few hours before Prime Minister Gabriel Attal is due to make a statement in which he is expected to announce new aid measures for the sector.

"There is total determination," said Arnaud Rousseau, president of the main and powerful agricultural union, the FNSEA, who was received by Attal yesterday afternoon and announced that they were continuing to negotiate with the government.

In an interview on Europe 1 radio, Rousseau said that there needed to be a "change of course" by the government and "symbolic emergency measures". He explained that the impression he had got from the Prime Minister yesterday was that he was "ready to go further on all issues".

The farmers have managed to evade police attempts to stop them, as their declared aim is to block access to the Rungis food market, the largest in Europe, some fifteen kilometres from Paris.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who has mobilised 15,000 officers in response to the protests, has warned since the weekend that he will not allow this to happen.

However, Darmanin has asked the police not to intervene in the so-called 'siege' blockades of Paris or the rest of the country - where there are several dozen - unless there is a threat to property or people.

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